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Cisco Unified Computing Advisory Board (UCAB)

Just finished attending the Cisco Unified Computing Advisory Board (UCAB) in San Jose this week.  Great experience to have the opportunity to interact with other production UCS customers from various lines of business, the leadership of the Server Access and Virtualization Business Unit (SAVBU) and many other key Cisco staff focused on the success of the Unified Computing platform.  I am not able to go into many details or specifics on meeting content, however I will try and give you a sense of the what and why for the advisory board.

 We spend two solid days focused on customer feedback on our experiences; successes, challenges and what can be improved as well as getting feedback on product growth and future directions.  The key take away from this focus of the event was Cisco’s strong commitment to understanding the real world implementations and the desire to continually improve the unified computing experience and product.

 As you can imagine there was also a large focus on educating us on the short-term growth and roadmaps as well as discussions on longer-term thoughts, designs, etc.  Again this was framed around taking customer feedback to help shape things moving forward.  On this front, I quickly realized Cisco is not standing still and has an amazing vision for what “unified computing” will mean in the future.  The narrow thought of “Cisco is in the server business” quickly became clear that the server is merely a component of Cisco driving the unified computing business.  I think it is clear from the reaction and responses seens so far from other server vendors that there is a realization the future of compute is not just about a server.  That is why you see others scrambling to have their own “unified compute” platform by quickly cobbling existing technologies together and branding some form of unified computing.  The overall benefit of this competition is that all compute vendors will get better and continue the push and move in this direction.

 There is no question in my mind that Cisco is in this market as a leader and will be there long term.  I think a lot of organizations are beginning to understanding this fact and “get” the benefits and cost savings that UCS brings to the table. 

 What is also interesting to me is the timing of when Cisco executed the launch and growth of UCS, during the economic turmoil of 2009.  If you think about it, you could not have picked a more challenging economic time to introduce a paradigm shift in computing.  The up side to the timing is the cost benefits of UCS stood out for us early adopters.  Cisco is continuing to expand their investments in staff, functionality and advancements in technology, which is only strengthening the product.

 Cool stuff!  Look for the next UCS code release 1.3 to happen very soon in June 2010 and an updated ESX 4.x driver for the VIC (Palo card) that works with EMC PowerPath/VE as well.

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June 7, 2010 Posted by | Cisco UCS | , | Leave a comment